Do mothballs keep skunks away?

skunk walking along with tall grass in the background
Mothballs can be used to keep skunks away. They are most effective when placed in enclosed spaces such as under decks. The smells of peppers, ammonia, and citrus also repel skunks. Other safe repellents include predator urine and Irish Spring soap.

How do you use mothballs for skunks?

Mothballs can be used as a temporary solution for skunk control. They should be used when a homeowner suspects skunk activity rather than as a way to prevent skunks. Mothballs need to be regularly replaced since their effectiveness for skunk repellent wears off as they start to lose their scent.

Mothballs can be placed in areas where you suspect skunk activity. Place mothballs around garbage cans and bushes. Mothballs are especially effective in enclosed spaces. You can put mothballs in attics, sheds, and under decks.

Mothballs can be placed directly on a surface but are also effective when left in a box without a lid. Mothballs are especially helpful when trying to get rid of skunks since mothballs repel insects. Skunks eat grubs, so eliminating insects from your yard will therefore help keep skunks away.

Do mothballs keep skunks away

How do you get skunks to leave?

A way to make skunks leave is to make your home unappealing to them. Clear away debris and keep your greenery trimmed to eliminate den sites. Also, be sure to block entryways under decks.

Another way to make your property unappealing to skunks is by removing food sources. Put a tight lid on trash cans, keep pet food inside, and purchase a pest-free bird feeder.

Since skunks are nocturnal, keep bright lights on outside at night, so they aren’t attracted to the dark property. You can also install floodlights to brighten up your property. Taking all these steps will help with general wildlife control.

What smell will keep a skunk away?

Black Pepper

Black peppers can be used for skunk removal. The smell of peppers tingles skunks’ noses and causes them to sneeze. This unpleasant reaction makes them leave.

You can create a DIY spray by mixing black pepper with water. Pour the homemade skunk repellent into a spray bottle and apply it to any area. You can also directly place black pepper granules on areas that you wish to keep skunk-free.

Chili Pepper

Other home remedies for skunk repellent include chili powder and cayenne peppers. These peppery items can be mixed with water.

You can even add dish soap to the mixture to make it stick to plants longer. Chili powder and cayenne pepper can be sprinkled directly onto any area. 


Ammonia can be used to deter skunks. You can soak rags or cotton balls in ammonia. Don’t put ammonia on plants since it is toxic to plants.

You can situate it in areas where you have seen skunk activity, such as porches. Wear protective gear while handling ammonia. 


Skunks dislike the acidic scents of lemons, limes, and oranges. You can place citrus peels anywhere on your property to repel skunks. Another way to use the smell of citrus to deter skunks is by applying lime juice to your yard or enclosed spaces.


Peppermint oil is another scent that irritates skunks’ sense of smell. You can mix drops of peppermint essential oil with water to create a repellent spray. 

skunk casting a shadow on the dried grass on the ground

Does Irish Spring soap keep skunks away?

Irish Spring soap bars can help with keeping skunks away. The strong scent is unappealing to skunks and other mammals such as raccoons.

You can cut the bar into small squares and place the pieces in any area. Irish Spring soap won’t hurt plants, so you can put it in your yard and garden. 

Will moth balls hurt skunks?

Mothballs can be toxic to wild animals if they inhale the chemicals from mothballs for extended periods. Skunks and other critters dislike the smell of the chemical Naphthalene that mothballs emit.

This pungent smell will cause skunks to withdraw. Usually, skunks will quickly depart after smelling the mothballs. But, if the critter lingers and continues to smell it, the skunk may become ill from the fumes.

The chemicals can cause nausea and dizziness in animals. Mothballs can also be toxic to humans and pets. They are only harmful when handled for extended amounts of time.

Use caution when placing mothballs on your property, especially if you have children or pets. A safe way to use mothballs is to put the mothballs in a sock. This method will still emit odors while keeping humans and animals safe from toxins. 

How do you get rid of skunks fast?

If you have a skunk problem, here is a list of humane ideas to quickly get rid of skunks:

  • Install motion censored lights or sprinklers.
  • Live trap and release skunks.
  • Spread predator urine around your property.
  • Contact a pest control company.


Whitney is a graduate of Georgetown College and a current graduate student at the University of the Cumberlands. She resides in the beautiful state of Kentucky, which she has always appreciated and endeavors to maintain the land's well-being. A lover of animals and the earth, Whitney strives to communicate accurate information that will help readers learn new information, ideas, and become informed stewards of the natural world.

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